Eight is great

ELDORA – Sarah Boomgarden wasn’t excited about her first-ever open 400.

But she was more than willing to help her team by any means necessary.

Completing the 100 meters, high jump and 400 in a matter of minutes, the South Hardin junior exemplified the team-over-individual approach that has defined the Tigers this season.

Maintaining its momentum after a mid-meet down pour delayed the action, the Tigers captured program’s first North Iowa Cedar League West Division Crown with 123 points Thursday on their home track. Eldora-New Providence claimed four straight titles from 2000-2003.

Defending champ South Tama County finished 12 points back with 11, while BCLUW (102), West Marshall (85) and AGWSR (67) completed the top five. East Marshall (64), Grundy Center (32) and Gladbrook-Reinbeck (5) rounded out the field of eight.

South Hardin claimed its eighth invite win in as many meets, and Boomgarden knew keeping that streak alive meant moving out of her comfort zone.

“It was not good,” Boomgarden said of the 400. “I ran the 100, then I had to jump quick and walk down to the 400 and get right in the blocks so it was tough – but it will help the team out. We needed those points.”

That was exactly what Tiger coach Mike Olson had in mind as several of his athletes competed in four events.

“We were trying to maximize our points as much as we could,” Olson said. “We needed everyone to come through and several girls had some short turnarounds. We put our fastest kids on the track as much as we could.”

South Hardin claimed both the 4×100 and 4×200 relays. Keela Bunger, Emma Gourley, Kayla Prosser and Sarah Weichmann won the 4×100 in 53.17 seconds, and the same foursome took the 4×200 in 1:53.75. Boomgarden topped the high jump field at 5 feet, while Lydia Rose (5:26.22) and Miquela Teske (5:26.81) added a 1-2 finish in the 1,500. Boomgarden was also second in the 100 and 200.

BCLUW’s Mallory Vawter was a four-time winner and was named the meet’s Outstanding Performer. The Comet junior set a meet record in the long jump of 18 feet, 2 1/2 inches – smashing the previous mark of 17-6 1/4 set by West Marshall’s McKenzie Shipley in 2012. Vawter also took gold in the 100 (13.13), 200 (26.91) and 110 hurdles (16.11).

Vawter was confident but surprised even herself with her personal best leap on her third jump of the finals.

“I knew it felt good, but I didn’t know it felt that good. I did not expect that,” Vawter said. “The wind was kind of screwing with me on the first two but I just kind of moved my steps forward and went with it.”

BCLUW and West Marshall had the most event titles with five apiece. The Comets’ 4×800 unit of Becca Steckelberg, Amelia Tonner, Jenna Willet and Sam Ubben broke away from the field in 10:16.66.

West Marshall’s Jennifer Davis swept the discus (104-08) and shot put (39-09) to become a four-time winner in both events.

“Jennifer has a great work ethic and is confident in the ring,” West Marshall coach Brian Weig said. “It also helps that she doesn’t like to get beat.”

West Marshall’s Shannon Breja claimed the 800 in 2:29.17 as a downpour engulfed the track midway through the race. The Trojans also broke the tape in the 4×400 (4:22.68) and distance medley (4:33.67). Sadie Simatovich, Madie Streeter, Georgia Porter and Breja teamed up in the 4×400, while Shelby Larsen, Kelsey DeDruyn, Simatovich and Breja joined forces in the distance medley.

Defending champ South Tama County came away with a shuttle hurdle relay win from Julie Wise, Lauren Yuska, Allison Yuska and Alana Vest in 1:12.43.

AGWSR got wins from Eri Siems in the 400 (1:01.68) and freshman Bethany Lippert in the 3,000 (11:41.63).

Lippert sat behind East Marshall’s Haley Fye much of the race before finally surging ahead in the final straightaway for the win.

“I was trying to stay behind the wind because it’s really windy and I knew that if I had to lead the whole way, they’d probably pass me at the end,” Lippert said. “So I just tried to reverse it.”

Lippert also tied her sister Jessica – and East Marshall’s Meriel Leavy – for second in the high jump at 4-10.

The Cougars claimed the sprint medley in 2:00.08 with Addi Johnson, Taylor Risius, Madison Fryslie and Siems.

East Marshall’s Maddie Hinegardner bested the 400 hurdle field in 1:11.38 and took silver in the 100 hurdles (17.30).

Hannah Stumberg propelled Grundy Center with a runner-up finish in the 800 (2:29.17), while Katy Thompson accounted for all of Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s points by tying for fourth in the 100 (14.01) and finishing fifth in the 200 (28.67).